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NCAA: Nice to be ‘Happi’ as EAC outlasts Lyceum

Thursday, 1 August 2013 2 Comments


It is nice to be ‘Happi’ especially in times like this in the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association seniors basketball tournament.

6’9 Cameroonian big man Cedric Happi had a monster game with 25 points and 20 rebounds to help the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals arrest a three-game losing skid, pulling off an 83-76 win over the Lyceum Pirates this past Monday at The Arena in San Juan.

“It was very obvious that we went to Happi most of the time considering he was on fire, and that’s definitely our advantage,” said Emilio Aguinaldo College mentor Gerry Esplana. “We also avoided Lyceum’s comeback. They have that instinct so we played very careful.”

But point guard Nikki Monteclaro, who contributed eight huge points, delivered the coup de grace for the Generals by unleashing a triple and hitting two free throws in the last 40 seconds to derail the Pirates’ late-game rally, which was led by Tirso Lesmoras.

Lesmoras piled up 10 of his 28 points in the last period, including the two free throws that narrowed the gap to only 76-78 with only 40 ticks left, but Monteclaro’s heroics eventually sealed the win for the Generals.

Emilio Aguinaldo College improved to 2 wins in 7 games.

Rookie Jack Arquero added 12 points and Sydney Onwubere had nine points while John Tayongtong got eight points for the Generals.

Interstingly enough, both teams combined for 66 fouls.

Meanwhile, the NCAA will resume on August 12 to give way to the country’s hosting of FIBA Asia Games slated from August 1 to 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena. (EF/

EAC 83 – Happi 25, Arquero 12, Onwubere 9, Tayongtong 8, Monteclaro 8, Jamon 7, Paguia 6, Castro 2, King 2, Munsayac 2, Morada 2, Hiole Manga 0, Mejos 0, Hassan 0.
Lyceum 76 – Lesmoras 28, Lacastesantos 13, Francisco 7, Mbomiko 7, Ko 6, Alanes 5, Azores 4, Baltazar 2, Soliman 2, Garcia 2, Evangelista 0, Taladua 0, Ambohot 0.
QS: 25-22; 41-37; 59-55; 83-76.

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Started playing basketball the same way many other Pinoys do -- on the street with his relatives, friends, and neighbors. After accepting the fact I will never be Philippine Basketball's savior against the might of China and Korea on the court, I turned to writing off the court. I'm not exactly the most objective armchair analyst on this side of the basketball universe, but it's not for want of trying. I write about other basketball leagues on If you also have any queries about the English language, blame it on the day job. Follow me on Twitter: hoopnut


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